SEVIER COUNTY, Tenn. — Dollywood has a new roller coaster!
Dolly Parton dressed up as a glamorous bear to hold the grand opening for Big Bear Mountain on Friday. It is the largest single-attraction investment in the history of Dollywood and is an expansion of Wildwood Grove.
With its opening, Big Bear Mountain is now the largest and longest coaster at Dollywood. The coaster takes guests of nearly all ages on a family-friendly expedition in search of "Big Bear," and the 39-inch height requirement for the coaster will allow younger riders to enjoy some thrills.
The coaster circles Wildwood Grove for nearly two minutes on almost 4,000 feet of track while reaching speeds of up to 48 mph. It will take riders through three launches, multiple airtime hills, high-speed turns, and tunnels -- including a pass behind a waterfall.
The $25 million project is also the first-of-a-kind at Dollywood, as it is the only coaster to have onboard audio to provide "auditory thrills" to match the ride's movements.
“Big Bear Mountain is an exciting ride that really is going to be a game changer for us,” Dollywood President Eugene Naughton said in 2022. “Not only is it the largest coaster we’ve built, but it includes features—like on-board audio—that are new for our company. Big Bear Mountain also expands the footprint of Wildwood Grove and serves as another monumental step in the ongoing investment plan Dolly and I announced in June 2021. She’s keeping me busy. Now that we’ve announced Big Bear Mountain, I’ll start working on the next projects she has lined up for me!”
Dolly made it clear in 2022 that she would not be trying out the roller coaster -- even though she was excited for its opening.
"I'm not going to get on that," Dolly said as the crowd laughed. "Y'all know me better than that! But, I am going to be happy to hear all your big tall tales once you get back."